Labskaus, a Sailor’s Feast

by eat in my kitchen

Lapskaus

Whenever there was Labskaus on our table at lunch time, I was a happy child! It’s a traditional Northern European dish, sailor’s food with meat and vegetables stewed in broth, with a slightly sweet taste coming from gherkin, beetroot and potatoes.

It’s one of these recipes that evolved through the years, each region or country created their own variation on Labskaus and added or changed a few ingredients. It’s made with corned beef which is more common, sometimes with minced beef which I prefer. Some cities in the North of Germany, like Hamburg or Bremen, mix soused hering (Matjes in German) in, others have it on the side, or they add a fried egg like I do which is completely unacceptable for some. The beetroot causes the same controversy, I like it as it adds some sweetness and it creates a pretty colour. When it comes to the soused hering, I leave it out, it’s not my thing. You can find Labskaus in many Scandinavian countries as well but generally without the fish.

When I have this hot stew on my plate I’m still as happy to enjoy it as I was as a child!

Labskaus

Labskaus

For 4 people you need

minced beef 600g / 21 ounces
potatoes, peeled, cut into cubes, 600g/ 21 ounces
beetroots, peeled, cut into cubes, 500g / 18 ounces
medium sized onions, chopped, 2
broth 1 liter
bay leaf 1
garlic, cut in half, 2 cloves
cloves 5
pickled gherkin, chopped, 6-10
liquid from the pickled gherkin 4 tablespoons plus more
salt and pepper
olive oil for frying

organic eggs 4
butter for frying

In a large pot, heat some oil and fry the onions until golden and soft. Add some more oil and fry the minced beef for a few minutes until all the liquid has evaporated. Add the other ingredients (except the gherkin, their liquid and the eggs) and cook for an hour. Season with salt and pepper and add the gherkin and their liquid to taste.

Fry the eggs in a little butter, leaving the egg yolks soft, and put one of them on top of the Labskaus in each plate.

Lapskaus

 

Labskaus